Bryan Bradley recently reread Them, Francine du Plessix Gray's memoir of her parents—Alexander Liberman (of Condé Nast) and Tatiana du Plessix (the model and society milliner), who fled the Nazis in 1941—and he was struck by how germane to our New World these Russian émigrés' spirit of resourcefulness and adaptability was. The designer, who recently sold a stake in his company, is in the throes of his own burst of self-reinvention: He'll soon debut a diffusion line called Bryan Bradley, he's launching an accessories collection, and there's the new interiors business, too. (The latter explained the rugs used as props at the show, held at the New York Design Center.) Although he dresses uptown girls, Bradley has never been a conformist, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he is in expansion mode just as others are tightening their belts.
From the first look, winter-white pants worn with a mannish shirt and jacquard jacket, this was one of the designer's most confident—and dapper—efforts yet. Menswear touches added crispness to a lineup that had all the usual Tuleh charm, minus the hodgepodge quality of some past outings. Unexpected fabrications added interest, too—take the flash of sequins enlivening a mauve-y rose-print dress, or a sleeveless hoodie done in luxe jacquard. One has the sense that Bradley is, at last, feeling at home in his talent.